Objects: Skull, ring, star, emblem of scholar, apple label.


To my way of thinking, there is only one colour for a story apple (or a pair of kick-you boots), and that is red. Uncompromising, dangerous, rebellious; the colour of blood and woman and fight and revolution.

The button, like a wheel of fortune: shape and change your fortune as you go by your sharp pin - deliberate, pointed, purposeful. Shape the past, change the order of consequences, move the objects as you build the future.

Open inside, a rainbow; a weaving in and out for objects and stories. The scholar and the apple label held inside a red purse; keep here your collections of objects for your tellings as you need.

The inside? Tucks, folds, pockets and quiet places set against the shout of bold colours. We won't go there: the quiet pages are for the teller to slip between as they refresh the words they'll use.

Don't pay attention to what I write, pay attention to what I say; don't pay attention to what I say, pay attention to how I tell it; pay attention, not to how I say anything, but what I do, as I slip away.

I have to listen carefully to those storytellers. I never know whether they are crafty, slippery souls, not to be trusted, or whether they are truth-tellers in disguise, merchants of honesty. They shift emphasis in a heart beat: listen to this, I'll tell you now, this was the moment: they slip between stories, evading capture of themselves, there and not-there, unwatched and watched as a magician: then you look around and think, when they are gone, they were only the narrator after all; tapping into the stories we already carried inside our own heads; we just didn't know the stories were there until the teller appeared, then disappeared.


Objects: purse, token, lock and keys, music string, timekeeper.

The object which is biggest, boldest, leaps out above all others, informs all others, is where I start.

Purse. Keeper of economies (in the black or in the red); keeper of treasures (in mine, 3 coins and a piece of bent metal I rescued from the road); and snap-open-my-mouth-closed keeper of memory, history, mythologies and meanings (threaded back to who-knows-when).

Then we'll start with black, pop in the treasure token, and stitch the purse so it can never be lost, to a background of feel-me silver shimmerings like distant stars (origins not found).

The lock I separate from the key (of course, because it wouldn't be Story to have problem and solution put together), and then I find transparencies that make me think about layerings of time and experience; I find fractured texts and tones of greys like snippets of songs, half-concealed, half-revealed (the way my memory works, or fails me).

Song, folk songs, the poetry of Keats, we're following natural beats and rhythms of the landscapes where we are turned into ravens since forever.

Time, kept quiet, put into the background, because I want to create in my books a poetry of materials that a holder uses to create their truths which endure, timeless.



Objects: Laughing skull, loveheart lock, snatch of hair on hide, King of Hearts, crafty crow.

The most textured, tactile of all: stroke the hair on hide, to which I add a golden thread, makes your object of all desire or an object of all undoing and who can tell which way that tale will tell?

For hair on hide, I've chosen a matching frame - not-leather-not-suede but both - curious, textured, tactile, feel me, cloth-but-not-cloth.

Next, the skull, laughing, impaled, on pole: the final triumph aloft a hazel length? Or the final mocking humiliation of once your whole-body-being? Only the teller of a tale can know which way to tumble that yarn. I've put that hazel pole, like the listener or the teller, straight up, cover front, turned towards the pages where we'll all gather our stories.

The King of Hearts, in hiding, as well he should be, both maker of hearts, breaker of hearts. Here, in this book, his status not torn from the pack, from the rest of him, from his sitting-atop the throne of his hierarchy, but cut. Cut with a deft pair of scissors, sliced away by one I pray more skilled than he: a cutter of hearts she be. Snip snip!

Loveheart lock. Love, forlorn, love withheld, love trapped and sealed away, guarded, the vulnerabilities that love needs to live, not shown. The non-telling heart, sealed behind net and double blocked by black-top pin. Steel, paper, net. I've locked you at the book back where your fingers are caught and trapped, for who breaks in?

Then, this is your book, stitched with nets to catch unwary fingers; textures of branches to twist up and confound your wandering eye; pockets, tucks, folds as codes only a story teller can tell, and the revolutions, reformations and Decalogues of ancients stitched into the binding, seeping their way into every story told.

Crafty crow?

Making sharp exit, sharp right.